Drukair gets latest generation ATR 42-600

Airline renews fleet with turboprop featuring cutting-edge avionics for performance in challenging conditions  

The country’s national flag-carrier, Drukair, took delivery of its brand new ATR 42-600 aircraft on Tuesday.

The latest-generation turboprop aircraft, which will be used on the airline’s domestic and international routes, was chosen for its outstanding operational performance in challenging conditions, according to the press release from ATR (a joint-venture between Airbus and Leonardo, and the world number one regional aircraft manufacturer with its ATR 42 and 72 aircraft the best-selling aircraft in the less than 90-seat market segment).

“The airline’s ATR serves small airports in the Himalayan Mountains and links Bhutan with Kathmandu, Kolkata and Dhaka. Through the introduction of the -600 series’ latest generation Standard 3 avionics suite, Drukair will benefit from RNP AR 0.3/0.3 which further enhances airfield accessibility and operational performance. Drukair’s ATR is equipped with the ClearVision™ system, which will provide pilots with outstanding vision and situational awareness. The aircraft will feature a very comfortable 40-seat cabin with generous pitch and stowage,” states the ATR press release.

Tandi Wangchuk, the Chief Executive Officer of Drukair said: “We have been flying an ATR aircraft since 2011, its versatility and operational reliability have made it the ideal aircraft. When evaluating how to improve on this performance, it makes sense to upgrade to the latest-generation and we look forward to introducing these evolutions to our passengers, particularly the modern Armonia cabin which will provide even more comfort to everyone on board.”

 ATR Chief Executive Officer, Stefano Bortoli said: “There are few things more satisfying than seeing a loyal customer renew and upgrade its ATR fleet. This delivery once more shows the impact of our policy of continuous development which ensures that when we introduce new products and innovations, they offer real quality and value to our family of operators. Delivering regional connectivity in the challenging operational conditions of Bhutan and its neighbouring countries takes a special aircraft and the ATR 42-600 is the perfect fit.” 

 Meanwhile, ATR’s market estimates forecast that 1,200 30-50 seat aircraft will soon need to be replaced as older and inefficient aircraft come to the end of their lives. The ATR 42-600 is the ideal and modern solution to cater for this need and ensure that essential connectivity is maintained for local communities all over the world. 

 Meanwhile, Drukair currently operates with three A319s and an ATR 42-500.

Yenten Thinley from Thimphu